SAN DIEGO — There are six words new Chargers’ head coach Mike McCoy has to be tired of repeating nearly every day after preseason practice — “that’s just part of the game.”
He’s referring to the numerous injuries the football gods have visited upon his team.
Receivers Denario Alexander and Malcolm Floyd and linebackers Jonas Mouton and Manti Te’o are just four of the players who’ve been hit with the injury bug. Alexander is out for the season after an ACL tear, while Mouton suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. Floyd landed horribly while trying to make a catch and is out indefinitely with a sprained knee, while Te’o’s foot sprain will keep him out of Thursday night’s exhibition in Chicago. He’ll be re-examined following the Bears’ game and could be back at practice next week.
Is this any way for a rookie head coach to begin his first season?
McCoy laughed and then spoke the words he’s come to memorize and learned to hate: “That’s just part of the game.
“It really is,” McCoy continued this week. “You certainly hate to see anyone go down, but as the coach of this team you just have to move forward and the players have to move forward. It’s up to management and the coaching staff to come up with ways to replace the injured players. Then it’s up to the players to go out on the field and execute.”
“I know one thing,” said ten-year veteran Floyd, “I feel like I dodged a bullet. I really do. I came down contorted, awkwardly, and it felt like it was a lot worse than it turned out to be.
“It was scary because you think about your family … you think about your career. That stuff goes through your head when you (get hurt) like that.”
It was a great relief for the staff and players when no major damage was found in Floyd knee, but they weren’t so lucky with Alexander and his injury. The torn ACL is the second of his career and could put the rest of his career in jeopardy.
“It’s unfortunate, because he worked so hard to get back, then played well last season,” McCoy said. “You feel so bad for him because some players just seem to have bad luck.”
Quarterback Philip Rivers agrees, but says the Chargers have to move on.
“One thing I know will happen is guys will step up,” Rivers said after Tuesday’s practice. “You feel sorry for him as a teammate and person. But we’ve got depth in our receiving corps and they’ll have to pick it up.”